Kim Kardashian is already regarded by many to be the First Lady of the internet. But what if she were FLOTUS? Her husband, the rapper Kanye West, recently declared his intent to run for president in the 2020 election.
But is it too late for Kanye to join — and shake up — the race?
POTUS Qualifications Checklist
The U.S. Constitution states that a president must be at least 35 years old, be a natural-born U.S. citizen, and have lived in the U.S. for 14 years. West, who is 43 years old, was born in Chicago and has lived in the U.S. his entire life.
However, the process of entering the election is a bit more complicated than simply meeting these requirements.
Though Kanye already missed the deadlines to enter the Democratic or Republican primaries, he is not too late to run as an independent. The requirements for an independent’s name to be printed on the presidential ballot differ between states, though Kanye has hired campaign staff to aid him with this process, which involves collecting signatures and petitioning to be added to the ballot.
Though Kanye has qualified for the ballot in Oklahoma, he has missed the deadline in several other states. Writing in West as a candidate is an option in some states, but some have limits on who can be a write-in candidate, and others do not permit write-ins at all.
It’s also important to note that any online "signature drives" are not valid and will not help Kanye get on the ballot in any state. Signatures must be collected in person. And at a certain point, enough missed deadlines means it would be nearly impossible for him to cobble together an Electoral College majority.
The rapper has stated his intent to run under his own "Birthday Party" and recently said that he’d like fellow rapper Jay-Z as his running mate. He has also remarked that if Donald Trump were not the incumbent he would run as a Republican.
Though details about his policies have mostly become meme material, such as his declaration that his White House administration would be modeled after Wakanda, the fictional setting of the movie "Black Panther."
At his Charleston, South Carolina, rally, West said that abortion would remain legal under his administration, but incentives for mothers such as "a million dollars" would be provided as an alternative.
Whether he intends to see this campaign through to November is another matter, however, as speculation has arisen that the campaign is a possible publicity stunt to promote an upcoming album. West’s presidential campaign isn’t entirely unprecedented, however: We already have a reality TV personality in the White House. Whether we will continue to have a celebrity POTUS or a more traditional politician take office in January remains to be seen.
- Voting Resources and FAQs (FindLaw’s Voting Guide)
- How U.S. Elections Work (FindLaw’s Learn About the Law)
- Kim Kardashian Continues Conviction Clearing Quest (FindLaw’s Celebrity Justice)
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